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Do not write in this book or mark 
pen or pencil. Penalties are impose 
Revised Laws of the Commonweal** 
sachusetts, Chapter 208, Section 

ML 11 JUL 11 . 








BOSTON 1906 


Copyright 1906 



/ 3 tfoj 

• «• • * *■ 

• * • « 

■ •• • • . 






Introduction 5 

Home Economics in Agricultural Colleges and State 

Universities 22 

Cooking Schools 44 

Home Economics in the Public Schools .... 52 


'T^HE work incumbent upon the organization and 
■*- development of a department of Home Economics 
in a state university has sent us again and again to the 
histories of education for suggestions, inspiration, and 
guiding principles. The difficulty in finding such data, 
scattered as it is through the history of education, and 
the urgent need for it have impelled us to this attempt to 
collect and interpret, as well as we can, the facts bearing 
on the origin, development, and present status of Home 

The authors realize that it is a difficult task to trace 
beginnings, to attempt to separate essentials from non- 
essentials, or to essay the office of interpreter. Recog- 
nizing these difficulties and the imperfection of this work, 
this brief survey of the situation is sent out to our fellow- 
workers in the same line with the request that mistakes 
and omissions be reported in order that the final effort, 
of which this is only a beginning, may more worthily 
represent the cause for which it stands. 


It is evident that the study of any educational move- 
ment implies a consideration of the political, social, and 
industrial conditions of the same period. So a study of 
Home Economics means a survey of education in general, 
together with a consideration of the social, industrial, and 


6 Home Economics 

economic changes which the years have wrought and their 
effect, particularly upon the status of woman. 

A survey of education in the colonies in their beginnings 
shows that the colonists were never indifferent to the inter- 
ests of education. Naturally other needs had to be con- 
sidered first, but some statement is usually found in the 
arly history which indicates that some kind of provision 
ad been made for education # As early as 1616 the 
ing 1 ordered the Bishop of London to collect money 
or a college to be founded in Virginia. Two years later 
when the money had been secured the following instruc- 
tions were given to Governor Yardley : 

"Whereas by a special grant and license from His 
Majesty, a general contribution hath been made for build- 
ing and planting a college for the training up of the 
children of those infidels in true religion, moral virtue, 
and civility, and for other godliness, we do, therefore, 
according to a former grant and order, hereby ratify, 
confirm, and ordain that a convenient place be chosen 
and set out for the planting of a university at the said 
Henrico in time to come, and that in the meantime prep- 
aration be made for the building of the said college for 
the children of the infidels according to such instructions 
as we shall deliver. And we will ordain that ten thousand 
acres, partly of the lands they impaled and partly of the 
land within the territory of the said Henrico, be allotted 
and set out for the endowing of the said university and 
college with convenient possessions. " 

When we remember that these pupils were children 
and savages it is easy to understand that the term uni- 
versity has long been perverted. The same interest 

1 History of Education in the United States, Dexter, p. 2. 

Introduction 7 

regarding education is shown in the history of the Dutch 
colonies by the following quotation : 

"The patroons and the colonists shall, in particular, 
endeavor to find out ways and means whereby they may 
support a minister and schoolmaster, 1 that thus the service 
of God and zeal for religion may not grow cool and be 
neglected among them, and they shall, for the first, procure 
a comforter of the sick there.'' 

Dexter says: 2 " Whereas the colonists in Virginia seem 
to have been actuated by the missionary spirit in the estab- 
lishment of schools principally for Indians and orphans, 
and the Puritans in New England recognized at first only 
a need . for higher education for the maintenance of a 
learned clergy, the Dutch began at the bottom, with their 
own children. In the matter of popular education they 
were leaders." 

The New England colonies have played a most impor- 
tant part in the development of education. The New 
England colonists came from homes of refinement and 
education, and counted among their dearest privileges 
those of education and religion. Boston Latin School, 
founded in 1635, followed by Harvard College in 1637, 
are testimonials of their efforts in behalf of education. 
The records of the Connecticut colonies show that they 
were not behind Boston in their educational efforts. In- 
deed Ezekiel Cheever, whose name is associated with the 
Boston Latin School, was the first teacher of the school 
founded in New Haven in 1641. 

Hinsdale says : 3 "No state has a more honorable edu- 
cational record, taken altogether, than Connecticut. No 

1 History of Education in the United States, Dexter, p. 13. 
8 Ibid.y p. 40. 

8 Home Economics 

other of the old states can show such a connected series 
of public and private transactions relating to schools and 
education, extending from the foundation of the common- 
wealth down to the opening of the present educational 
era, some fifty or sixty years ago. Accordingly, the state 
affords the best possible opportunity to study continu- 
ously the history of popular education from the feeblest 
beginnings. " 

The decade from 1639 to 1649 seems to have been 
most fruitful in New England in producing legislation 
concerning education. To Dorchester, 1 Massachusetts, 
belongs the honor of having the first public school in 
America to be supported by direct taxation. It was 
organized in May, 1639. The need for industrial training 
was recognized and some legal provision made for it in 
Massachusetts as early as 1642. Five years later we have 
what Professor Dexter 2 calls "the most important school 
law of our whole history. ... It contained all the essen- 
tials of the purest democracy. The teacher was to be 
appointed by the people and paid by the people 'to teach 
all such pupils as shall resort to him to write and read/ 
without a shadow of class distinction. Nor was the law 
simply permissive ; it was mandatory as well, required that 
schools be established, and that a fine of ^5 await those 
communities that failed to observe its edicts. There was 
to be an elementary school for towns of fifty families and 
a grammar school for those of one hundred families." 

While these beginnings in education were made in the 
seventeenth century, progress was very slow. Lack of 
organization, of suitably trained teachers, and the neces- 

1 History of Education in the United States, Dexter, p. 28. 

2 Ibid., p. 34. 

Introduction _ 9 

sary compensation left most of the youth un supplied with 
the means of education. Practically there were no schools 
south of Virginia until after the beginning of the eight- 
eenth century. The curricula of those then existing in 
New England were rather limited. 

Inadequate as the training afforded by the reading, 
writing, and grammar schools was, we must remember it 
was provided for boys only. Girls might be taught, but 
they were not to be admitted to the school. It was nearly 
a century later before anything was done for their edu- 
cation. The Dames' Schools were the only organized 
agency outside the home, and they are said to have 
afforded opportunities to learn needlework, dancing, and 
improvement in manners. 

It is interesting to note the steps of progress in the 
education of girls as evidenced by their admission to 
the reading and writing schools for one hour a day; 
of their instruction in the summer in arithmetic, geog- 
raphy, and composition, by their brothers who were Yale 
students ; and the various devices by which they were 
presented with the crumbs of education. 

While New England led in provision for education of 
its girls, some attention was given to their instruction 
in other parts of the country. The Moravian school 
at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is among the earliest. How- 
ever, it was not until the last decade of the century that 
they were granted even a part of the privileges of the 
grammar schools. The only schools to which girls were 
admitted in Boston in 1784 were the writing schools 
held between the forenoon and afternoon sessions of the 
public school. In 1789 a "great reform " was instituted 
by organizing a so-called "double-headed school." In- 

io Home Economics 

struction was given in reading and writing. The girls 
attended reading school in the morning and the boys the 
writing, and vice versa, so separate instruction was main- 
tained. The position of girls as regards educational privi- 
leges in New England at this time is shown by the action 
of the school board of Gloucester, which voted in 1790 1 
"that two hours of the eight hours of daily instruction 
be devoted to girls, as they are a tender and interesting 
branch of the community, but have been much neglected 
in the public schools in this town." It appears that they 
continued to be " tender and interesting " without much 
opportunity for self -improvement until 1820, the time 
of the organization of Mrs. Willard's Female Seminary. 
One year later Catherine Beecher's school was established 
at Hartford, and the process by which girls were to be 
transformed from females to women was well begun. 

The story of the organization of the Boston High 
School for Girls is given in the " Report of the Com- 
missioner of Education " 2 as f ollows : 

"On September 25, 1825, the city council appro- 
priated $2,000 for a high school for girls. The school 
was instituted January 13, 1825, and before the end of 
the second year had become so popular, the applicants 
for admission were so numerous, so many parents were 
disappointed that children were not received, the demand 
for larger and better accommodations involved such addi- 
tional expenditures, that the school committee, under the 
lead of the mayor, Josiah Quincy, met the emergency 
by abolishing the school and pronouncing it a failure. 
For a period of twenty-three years no attempt was made 
to revive the subject in either branch of the city council. ,, 

1 Education, Vol. 22, p. 535. 

2 Report of the Commissioner of Education, 187 1, p. 512. 

Introduction 1 1 

Meanwhile a new instrument of education had appeared, 
viz., academies, of which Phillips Academy at Andover 
and Exeter are noted examples. The institution 1 at Med- 
ford, Massachusetts, opened in 1789, " dignified by the 
title of academy/ ' is said to have been the first for girls 
in New England. Leicester and Westford were coeduca- 
tional from the start. Bradford, founded 1803, Adams, 
1823, the first incorporated expressly for girls, and Abbot 
Academy, 1829, are among the most noted. 

This brings us into the Revolutionary period of our 
history, with its attendant industrial and social changes 
The separation from England made necessary the develop- 
ment of the internal resources of our own country, and 
in this development each section bore its part. In 1790 
the first factory was established in the United States at 
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and New England, with its 
abundant water power, led in manufactories. The South 
gave its attention to the cotton industry. Abundant fuel 
in the West and Southwest and the introduction of steam 
caused mechanical industries to thrive and gave wider 
range to the arts. Communication and transportation 
were aided in the forties by the introduction of the tele- 
graph and the cable and the making of canals and railways. 
These radical changes of environment brought great social 
and economic changes in the home and in the condition 
of both men and women, and found expression in changed 
ideals of education. 

The scientific inventions and discoveries and the con- 
sequent industrial development made necessary appropriate 
educational instruments. The content of education was 
enlarged to include technical training. This demand was 

1 History of Education in the United States, Dexter, pp. 428, 429. 

12 Home Economics 

met in part by the introduction of what were called Man* 
ual Labor Seminaries, examples of which are Rensselaer, 
New York, 1824, and the Fellenberg Institute of Windsor, 
Connecticut. The experiment was tried in a number of 
states. Many of the institutions failed or continued under 
other names, but they had their part in enlarging the 
educational outlook and in dignifying labor. 

The founding of Oberlin College for both sexes, 1833 ; 
the introduction of a school for engineers, 1835, Troy, New 
York; the opening of Mount Holyoke Seminary, 1837; 
the beginning of normal schools, 1839, Lexington, Massa- 
chusetts ; the founding of the New England Female 
Medical College, 1842, are illustrations of the broadening 
educational outlook and the recognition of the need of 
definite training for special work. The engineer, the 
teacher, and the nurse were given opportunity for definite 
professional training. 

Educational progress was delayed in the sixties and 
the energies of the people given to internal dissension 
and war, but the decade which followed its close was most 
fruitful in developing new instruments of education. The 
founding of Vassar College in 1865 was a distinct step 
in advance for the education of women. To this period 
belongs also the founding of the Land Grant Colleges, 
which assured a great advance in the industrial training 
of both men and women. 

The demand for practical education and industrial 
training is shown in the founding of technical schools, of 
which the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1865, 
Lehigh University, 1866, Worcester Polytechnic School, 
1868, are among the best known. The year 1870 seems 
remarkable for the number and variety of its experiments 

Introduction 1 3 

in education. It was in this year that drawing was made 
an integral part of the work in the Boston public schools, 
that Michigan and Illinois Industrial Universities were 
opened to women, while sewing was introduced into some 
of the schools of the Eastern states. The idea of manual 
training received a great impetus in the Centennial Expo- 
sition of 1876, and led, in the next decade, to the founding 
of schools for manual training in most of the large cities, 
the first being established in St. Louis in 1879. 

By the close of the nineteenth century it was evident 
to the student of educational affairs that the industrial 
spirit was a mighty factor in education, that courses in 
applied science and applied art would have a place in the 
school programs, and that a knowledge of the classics 
was no longer the only measuring unit for educational 

While much is to be said concerning the advantages 
of being the first to enter a new field, there are compen- 
sations for being behind time. The fact that the educa- 
tion of women has lagged behind that of the men has 
saved much experimenting on the women. The technical 
schools for men practically settled both the technical and 
educational value of such training for women. 

It is, perhaps, difficult now to appreciate just how 
much coeducation and the technical schools have meant 
in the development of the education of women, particularly 
in work in Home Economics. To be sure, in the early 
days of coeducation the women were so interested in 
keeping step intellectually with the men that they some- 
times gave themselves too strenuously to the joy of that 
privilege. Again, applied science for men, as taught in 
the technical schools, gave a certain definiteness to their 

14 Home Economics 

work in science, which was much needed in woman's work 
in those lines. It is not, perhaps, too much to say that 
much of woman's early work in chemistry was a more or 
less indefinite playing with test tubes in which one of 
three results was expected — a beautiful color, a bad odor, 
or an explosion She was not long in discovering that 
her brother took chemistry and bacteriology, not because 
some one had told him that it ought to form a part of 
a liberal education, but because he expected to use this 
knowledge later in his work with soil or in the dairy. 
Women were thus helped to see that there was a field of 
applied science for women as well as for men. They 
realized later that the laws of heat could be illustrated 
by the kitchen range quite as adequately as by the steam 
engine, that the life history of bacteria could be studied 
in many household processes, and that the chemistry of 
food was in many cases better suited to their needs than 
that of stones under the title, " determinative mineralogy. " 
Thus there came into being the applied science side of 
Home Economics. Applied art was a later development. 
A ceitain stigma has always attached to work in Home 
Economics, born of its association in the West with the 
agricultural colleges (whose standards of scholarships in 
the earlier days were not so high as those of the classical 
schools), and in the East its association with schools of 
cookery and sewing has lessened its educational value 
in the eyes of some. The stickler for the classics has 
found it exceedingly difficult to believe that an engineer 
or an agriculturist was an educated individual, or that 
training in Home Economics, reduced to its lowest terms, 
was not duly represented by baking and millinery. It 
was, perhaps, this spirit which prompted the president 

Introduction I ;> 

of Bryn Mawr College to say, 1 " There are, however, not 
enough elements of intellectual growth in cooking or 
housekeeping to furnish a very serious or profound course 
of training for really intelligent women/' and the president 
of another well-known college for women to make the 
statement 2 that "such courses do not find a girl." 

There are numerous indications that these statements 
do not represent the present status of Home Economics 
in the mind of educators. Recent investigations show 
that even in our most conservative colleges for women 
courses in hygiene, chemistry of food, applied art, and 
economics are being added to the curriculum, and archi- 
tecture, science, and history are adding their contributions 
to the work. The sociologist and physiologist find abun- 
dant room for their efforts. Departments of Home Eco- 
nomics are being organized in some of the best educational 
institutions, and those already organized are finding ways 
and means of strengthening their work. To be sure, the 
promised land has not yet been reached. Home Eco- 
nomics is not yet classified as is the science of medicine ; 
the particular part of the work that belongs to the public 
school, the trade school, the institute, the college, and 
the university is not yet clearly defined. 

One explanation of this confusion of ideas and results 
is found in that statement of Henderson : 3 "If one does 
not know where one wishes to go, there is small chance 
of success in devising a process for getting there." Boards 
of education and trustees have not been sure where they 
wished the teacher of Home Economics to go. She has 

1 Educational Review, Vol. 21, pp. 6, 7. 

2 Forum, Vol. 30, p. 728. 

3 Education and the Larger Life, p. 136, 

1 6 Home Economics 

not always been prepared to go in the right direction. 
But on the whole the outlook is very encouraging, and 
it seems probable that in the near future Home Economics 
will be recognized as the department in which the student 
is helped to interpret the facts of science, the theories of 
color, the beauty of form in ways that make more efficient 
the individual life, and that results of its work shall be 
seen in cleaner streets, houses better constructed and 
more beautifully decorated, food better selected and pre- 
pared, higher aesthetic and ethical standards. In short, 
that it shall have its part in the betterment of life. 

So much for the school side of the question. It may 
be well at this point to consider some agencies outside 
the school, to gather what suggestions we may from the 
current literature of that earlier day. 

Two names stand out with special prominence as 
leaders in what they call Domestic Economy, viz., those 
of Catherine E. and Harriet Beecher. Reference has 
already been made to the girls' school at Hartford founded 
by Miss Catherine Beecher. The removal of her family 
to the West severed her connection with that school. 
Later a similar one was started in Cincinnati, Ohio, of 
which Harriet Beecher was principal until her marriage. 
About 1840 there appeared "A Treatise on Domestic 
Economy/ ' by Miss Catherine Beecher. The attitude of 
this woman toward the subject is perhaps best shown by 
a quotation from the preface of that book : 

" The author of this work was led to attempt it, by 
discovering, in her extensive travels, the deplorable suffer- 
ings of multitudes of young wives and mothers, from the 
combined influence of poor health, poor domestics, and a 
defective domestic education. . . . 

Introduction t? 

"The measure which, more than any other, would tend 
to remedy this evil, would be to place domestic economy 
on an equality with the other sciences in female schools. 
This should be done because it can be properly and sys- 
tematically taught (not practically, but as a science), as 
much so as political economy or moral science, or any other 
branch of study ; because it embraces knowledge, which 
will be needed by young women at all times and in all 
places ; because this science can never be properly taught 
until it is made a branch of study ; and because this 
method will secure a dignity and importance in the esti- 
mation of young girls, which can never be accorded while 
they perceive their teachers and parents practically attach- 
ing more value to every other department of science than 
this. When young ladies are taught the construction of 
their own bodies, and all the causes in domestic life which 
tend to weaken the constitution; when they are taught 
rightly to appreciate and learn the most convenient and 
economical modes of performing all family duties, and of 
employing time and money ; and when they perceive the 
true estimate accorded to these things by teachers and 
friends, the grand cause of this evil will be removed. 
Women will be trained to secure, as of first importance, 
a strong and healthy constitution, and all those rules of 
thrift and economy that will make domestic duty easy 
and pleasant. 

"To promote this object, the writer prepared this 
volume as a text-book for female schools. It has been 
examined by the Massachusetts Board of Education, and 
been deemed worthy by them to be admitted as a part 
of the Massachusetts School Library. 

" It has been adopted as a text-book in some of our 

1 8 Home Economics 

largest and most popular female schools, both at the 
East and West." 

The table of contents of this book is most interesting. 
It begins with a chapter on the " Peculiar Responsibilities 
of American Women " ; this is followed by chapters on 
Healthful Food, Clothing, Cleanliness, Domestic Man- 
ners, Care of Infants, Construction of Houses. A fitting 
climax is reached in the final chapter named, " Miscella- 
neous Directions," in which the care of a cow, the comfort 
of guests, smoky chimneys, flower baskets, and waterproof 
shoes are considered. A glance at this table of contents 
leaves little doubt in the mind of any one that the field 
of the varying activities of women has been well covered. 

This was followed by a Domestic Receipt Book, whose 
merits are set forth in its preface as follows : 

"First, to furnish an original collection of receipts, 
which shall embrace a great variety of simple and well- 
cooked dishes, designed for every-day comfort and enjoy- 

" Second, to include in the collection only such receipts 
as have been tested by superior housekeepers, and war- 
ranted to be the best. It is not a book made up in any 
department by copying from other books, but entirely 
from the experience of the best practical housekeepers. 

" Third, to express every receipt in language which 
is short, simple, and perspicuous, and yet to give all 
directions so minutely that the book can be kept in 
the kitchen, and be used by any domestic who can read, 
as a guide in every one of her employments in the kitchen. 

" Fourth, to furnish such directions in regard to small 
dinner parties and evening company as will enable any 
young housekeeper to perform her part, on such occasions, 
with ease, comfort, and success. 

Introduction 19 

"Fifth, to present a good supply of the rich and 
elegant dishes demanded at such entertainments, and yet 
to set forth so large and tempting a variety of what is 
safe, healthful, and good, in connection with such warn- 
ings and suggestions as it is hoped may avail to promote 
a more healthful fashion in regard both to entertainments 
and to daily table supplies. No book of this kind will 
sell without an adequate supply of the rich articles which 
custom requires, and, in furnishing them, the writer has 
aimed to follow the example of Providence, which scatters 
profusely both good and ill, and combines therewith the 
caution alike of experience, revelation, and conscience, 
' choose ye that which is good, that ye and your seed 
may live/ 

"Sixth, in the work on < Domestic Economy/ to- 
gether with this, to which it is a supplement, the writer 
has attempted to secure, in a cheap and popular form, for 
American housekeepers, a work similar to an English 
work which she has examined, entitled the Encyclopedia 
of Domestic Economy, by Thomas Webster and Mrs. 
Parkes, containing over twelve hundred octavo pages of 
closely printed matter, treating on every department of 
domestic economy — a work which will be found much 
more useful to English women, who have a plenty of 
money and well-trained servants, than to American house- 
keepers. It is believed that most in that work which 
would be of any practical use to American housekeepers 
will be found in this work and the ' Domestic Economy.' 
"Lastly, the writer has aimed to avoid the defects 
complained of by most housekeepers in regard to works 
of this description issued in this country or sent from 
England, such as that, in some cases, the receipts are so 

20 Home Economics 

rich as to be both expensive and unhealthful ; in others, 
that they are so vaguely expressed as to be very imper- 
fect guides ; in others, that the processes are so elaborate 
and fussing as to make double the work that is need- 
ful ; and in others, that the topics are so limited that 
some departments are entirely omitted, and all are in- 

Later the two sisters combined their efforts in the 
publication of "The American Woman's Home, or Prin- 
ciples of Domestic Science," being "a guide to the for- 
mation and maintenance of economical, healthful, beautiful 
Christian homes." Their attitude and that of the public 
at this time, 1 869, is shown by the following quotation : 

" There is at the present time an increasing agitation 
of the public mind, evolving many theories and some 
crude speculations as to woman's rights and duties. That 
there is a great social and moral power in her keeping, 
which is now seeking expression by organization, is mani- 
fest, and that resulting plans and efforts will involve some 
mistakes, some collisions, and some failures, all must 

Previous to this had appeared "Household Science," 
by E. L. Youmans. It is difficult to find at the present 
day a clearer or more comprehensive statement of the 
meaning and content of the term than the one given 
in the preface to this book, viz. : " Household Science has 
to do with the agents, the materials, and the phenomena 
of the household." The numerous articles in periodicals of 
the period on the " Place of Woman in Education " would 
seem to indicate that the task of determining her proper 
educational status was a difficult one. 

In recent years many organizations outside the schools 

Introduction 2 1 

have taken part in the development of the subject — 
The Association of Collegiate Alumnae, the Federation of 
Women's Clubs, The Lake Placid Conference of Home 
Economics, and numerous philanthropic and industrial 
associations, as well as the investigations of the United 
States government along the lines of food and nutrition. 
Mrs. Ellen H. Richards, the woman who is generally 
considered as the foremost leader in the development of 
the subject in these later years, interprets its present 
status as follows : 


"The ideal home life for today unhampered by the 
traditions of the past. 

" The utilization of all the resources of modern science 
to improve the home life. 

"The freedom of the home from the dominance of 
things and their due subordination to ideals. 

"The simplicity in material surroundings which will 
most free the spirit for the more important and permanent 
interests of the home and of society." 

1 Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Lake Placid Conference on Home 
Economics, p. 31. 




REFERENCE has already been made to the number 
and variety of educational instruments which had 
their beginnings about 1870. Technical schools, Land 
Grant Colleges, Boston and New York Cooking Schools, 
industrial classes, and art schools all testify to the changed 
ideals in education which the social and economic changes 
of the previous decade had wrought. One of the sad 
results of the war was the removal by death of the head 
of the household and the consequent necessity which 
devolved upon the women of the family to become its 

These necessary social changes enlarged the sphere 
of women's activities and responsibilities. New occupa- 
tions were opened to women. There was a demand for 
skilled laborers, and this implied an opportunity for train- 
ing to obtain the necessary skill. Among the educational 
leaders coeducation was a much discussed question. For 
purposes of expediency and economy it had been practiced 
in the public schools, and it found favor in the West, 
which one writer has designated as " the land of the large 
and charitable air." 

Most of the Western institutions favored coeducation, 
but there were many even in those institutions who, while 
they believed equal opportunity should be given to men 
and women, held, that the training of each should be dif- 


Agricultural Colleges and State Universities 23 

ferentiated. The report of the Commissioner cf Education 
for 1 87 1 contains the following statement : 

" Popular sentiment holds still to separate education, 
but educators are much divided. On the same side with 
the Oberlin faculty are A. L. Wayland, D.D., President 
of Franklin College, Indiana ; Dr. Gregory, of the Illinois 
Industrial University ; and W. T. Harris, Superintendent 
of Public Schools, St. Louis. . . . 

" On the other side stands President Raymond, who, 
without arguing the question, in his beautiful and forcible 
presentation of the promise of higher education for women, 
unconsciously sways the mind toward separate education. 
< I premise/ says President Raymond, ' that a liberal edu- 
cation for woman is not in all its details precisely the same 
thing with a liberal education for man. There are ineradi- 
cable differences between the sexes, which must be taken 
into account in determining the conditions of a proper 
culture for each/ " 

The report for 1873, pages 505 to 508, contains an 
account of the training afforded girls in Germany in 
domestic economy, and closes with this statement : 

"In view of these facts, so common that they must 
have come under the observation of all, it is to be hoped 
that these features of special female education will receive 
full and fair discussion, so that th.ese new studies, with 
such modifications as experience shall suggest, may be 
introduced into our high schools and academies for 
advanced female pupils." 

Again, the feelings of others are expressed in this 
same report in these words, " Care also must be taken 
that in the ardor for scholastic training domestic education 
does not decline " 

24 Home Economics 

It is probably as a result of these conflicting senti- 
ments that departments of household science were opened 
in the agricultural colleges of the West, and cooking and 
sewing were introduced in the schools of the East. 


Three state institutions are pioneers in this work in 
the West, viz., Iowa, Kansas, and Illinois. Some con- 
fusion exists regarding the dates at which work was 
begun in these lines. An attempt has been made, in 
so far as possible, to let those who did the first work 
tell the story of its beginnings. 


Iowa seems to have been the first to enter this field. 
A personal letter from Miss Georgetta Witter, now Pro- 
fessor of Domestic Economy in Iowa State College, gives 
the following information : 

"Iowa State College was opened in March 17, 1869. 
The real beginning of domestic science in the institution 
dates back to that time, when the matron, in connection 
with her work as steward of the boarding department, 
adopted the so-called Mount Holyoke plan, requiring each 
young woman to work for two hours per day, under 
careful supervision, in the dining room, kitchen, or pantry. 

"In 1875 Mrs. Mary B. Welsh induced the trustees 
to open a department of cookery and household arts." 

Mrs. Welsh makes the following statement in "A 
Special Report on Industrial Education in the United 
States, 1883" i 1 

"The first instruction in this department was given 

1 United States Bureau of Education, 1883, p. 278. 

Agricultural Colleges and State Universities 25 

in 1872 by a course of lectures to the junior girls on 
matters connected with housekeeping. In 1877 the 
trustees added a course in cooking, and provided and 
furnished a kitchen for the use of the class. For the 
last four years, therefore, lessons in cooking have been 
given to the junior class, in connection with lectures on 
such subjects as house furnishing, care of the sick, care 
of children, management of help, dress, etc. Physiology 
and domestic chemistry are carefully taught as a part 
of the course in domestic economy. 

"In 1879 the course was further extended by the 
addition of sewing and laundry work. These have been 
taught with fair success for two years. Many of our 
students, however, have been able to pass them by exam- 
ination, and it was found difficult to arouse the same 
degree of interest in either as in cooking. There has 
been a steadily increasing demand for instruction in the 
latter, and the course has been reorganized for this year 
so as to give the cooking lessons to a larger number of 
students. These lessons were formerly confined to the 
juniors, on account partly of want of room in the small 
kitchen provided by the board, and partly on account 
of lack of drill in chemistry in the preceding years. At 
the last session of the legislature larger rooms were 
assigned to the department, and the present plan arranges 
for progressive lessons to the freshman, sophomore, and 
junior classes. 

"The young women of the freshman class prepare, 
under my instruction, the noonday meal for one table 
in the main dining hall, where two hundred students are 
boarded. The housekeeper furnishes the bill of fare for 
the day, and sends to the practice kitchen sufficient 

26 Home Economics 

material for a dinner for ten persons, which is cooked 
and served by the teacher and her class. Not more than 
five work at once, and thus each receives careful super- 
vision and can get actual practice at every lesson. In 
this way the class is taught plain cooking — how to pre- 
pare meats, vegetables, and simple desserts. The dinner 
cooked at the last lesson is a fair sample of the daily 
work. It consisted of roast beef, mashed potatoes, stewed 
tomatoes, and apple dumplings. While the work was 
going on the teacher explained not only the culinary 
processes, but told the class also something about the 
value of beef as a food, the best cuts, how to tell good 
beef from poor, the marks of disease, something also 
about the history and food value of the potato and apple, 
the tests for good flour, and the composition and action 
of baking powder. 

" In order to get time for this minute instruction to 
so large a number the laundry work and sewing were 
necessarily abolished, and the sophomores are given the 
lectures, which have been extended to embrace not only 
those matters which relate strictly to housekeeping, but 
more comprehensive information on hygiene, the laws of 
good breeding, and those things which go to make a home 
beautiful as well as clean and convenient. The class is 
required to take notes, and in connection with the lectures 
do a good deal of careful reading, and write several essays 
each on the topics treated of. 

"Finally, to the juniors is given a more elaborate 
course in cooking. Great pains is taken in that year 
to explain as carefully as may be the nutritive value of 
different foods, tests for adulterations, the combination 
of the several classes of food in bills of fare so as to be 

Agricultural Colleges and State Universities 27 

most valuable, etc. Together with the theory is given 
thorough practice in both plain and ornamental cookery. 
Bread and soups are made the subjects of special drill, 
while salads, side dishes, pastry and cake, carving, boning, 
and garnishing are also most thoroughly taught. A few 
lessons are given in the preparation of food for the sick, 
and these are dwelt on with special emphasis. 

"The interest of the students in the department of 
domestic economy has been constant and lively, while the 
board of trustees, the college faculty, and the patrons of 
the school have united in encouraging its development. 
It is acknowledged to have met a long-existing want, and 
to have done real service to the young women of the 
state. It has not only given them manual skill, but it 
has also increased their respect for all branches of such 
labor, and added dignity to that part of their life work 
hitherto considered as menial drudgery. The promise 
for the future is most encouraging. Stimulated by the 
enthusiasm of her pupils, strengthened by the good will 
of her fellow-teachers, and aided by the generous appre- 
ciation and liberal policy of the board of trustees, the 
teacher of domestic economy looks forward with sure faith 
to the fullest development of her department.' ' 

' Kansas 

Kansas comes next in order of time. Mrs. Nellie 
Kedzie Jones, for many years the inspiring head of the 
department in that institution, gives the following data 
concerning the beginnings of the work there : 

"In 1873-74 sewing was first taught in Kansas Agri- 
cultural College by Mrs. Cheseldine. In 1875-76 a course 
of lectures was given by Prof. W. K. Kedzie (chemist) 

28 Home Economics 

on such subjects as bread, its composition, changes in 
baking ; meat, changes in cooking ; vegetables, composition 
and food value, etc. Also a course of lectures by E. M. 
Shelton, Professor of Agriculture, on milk, butter, cheese, 
etc. Mrs. Cripps, who was in charge of sewing, gave 
lectures and lessons in cooking food, and a kitchen was 
fitted up in 1877." 

This continued until 1882, when Mrs. Nellie Kedzie 
took charge of the department and did much towards its 
fuller development. 


As stated before, women were admitted to the Illinois 
Industrial University in 1870. Steps seem to have been 
taken at once to introduce lines of work of particular 
interest to them. The catalog of 1871-72 announces a 
School of Domestic Science and Art, and adds : " Instruc- 
tion in this school will be begun with the next college year 
and will be developed as fast as practicable. " 

The catalog for the following year repeats this an- 
nouncement, and adds : " Drawing is taught by a skilled 
instructor, music can be had as an ( extra/ and painting 
will be provided for. The full course will very nearly 
correspond with the course in English and the modern 
languages. Young ladies have free access to all the 
schools in the university, and several are already pursuing 
studies in the schools of chemistry, horticulture, archi- 
tecture, and commerce/ ' The report 1 of the meeting of 
the Board of Trustees, March 11, 1874, contains the fol- 
lowing recommendation by Dr. J. M. Gregory, Regent of 
the University : 

" I also recommend the employment of a lady instructor 

1 Report of Meeting of Board of Trustees, March 11, 1874, p. 92. 

Agricultural Colleges and State Universities 2Q 

of the highest attainments and of large experience, who 
may in some sense stand as a preceptress to the female 
students. The number of these students has steadily 
increased till over eighty appear on our roll. They are 
from all parts of the state, and are admitted to all the 
classes of the university. But their best interests demand 
that there shall be in the faculty a woman of high char- 
acter and culture, who shall be specially charged with their 
oversight. If a lady can be found who can properly open 
and direct the studies in the School of Domestic Economy, 
her employment will be of double use and value. 

" In this connection I wish to repeat the recommen- 
dation that at the earliest day practicable you provide fully 
for a School of Domestic Economy and such other schools 
as the wants of our female students demand." 

In accordance with this recommendation the minutes 1 
of the meeting of June 10, 1874, contain the following 
statement: "It was resolved that Miss Lou C.Allen be 
appointed an instructor in the university for the year 
beginning September 1, 1874." 

The following data supplied by Mrs. J. C. Llewellyn, 
a student of those days, is of interest : 

" Dr. John M. Gregory, the first President of the 
University of Illinois, was instrumental in having girls 
admitted to the university. The first girls entered about 
two years after the opening of the university. As soon 
as coeducation was established, Dr. Gregory began to 
make known his thoughts for special instruction for girls. 
These ideas along the line of domestic or household 
science, as subsequent events have proved, were far in 
advance of his time. 

1 Minutes of the Meeting of the Trustees of the University of Illinois, 
June 10, 1874, p. 117. 

30 Home Economics 

" Dr. Gregory was so convincing in his arguments that 
the state should show the same wisdom in providing a 
special course of study for the future homekeepers as it 
had in teaching the business principles which would allow 
the establishment of the home itself, that the trustees 
decided to arrange for the special work. 

" One of the first things to do was to find a woman 
who would undertake this work. At the suggestion of 
one of the trustees, Miss Lou C. Allen, preceptress of the 
Peoria County Normal School, was appealed to. After 
a conference with some of the university people, Miss 
Allen decided to prepare for and undertake the work. 
Accordingly she spent some time in the East looking up 
the matter and in taking instruction along certain lines. 

"She appeared at the university in 1874 at the open- 
ing to the students of the main building, or University 
Hall, as it is now called. From the start she virtually 
held the position that is now held by the dean of women, 
and also taught the household science classes as fast as 
they were established. She had charge of and taught 
all the first gymnastic classes for girls. 

" Her work as a teacher was very thorough, and showed 
her training in the State Normal School at Bloomington, 
where she graduated. Her first title at the university 
was ' Instructor in Domestic Science.' Later she was 
made 'Professor of Domestic Science/ In 1892, long 
after she had left, the university conferred on her the 
degree of M.S. 

"When Dr. Gregory gave up his work as President 
of the university, the position of Professor of Domestic 
Science was also made vacant because Miss Allen had 
become Mrs. Gregory. A new professor for the depart- 

Agricultural Colleges and State Universities 31 

ment was not secured at once, possibly because there 
was no one at hand who was so untiring in his efforts 
for and so farseeing in the need of such a course as 
Dr. Gregory had been." 

The following statement 1 by Mrs. Gregory tells some- 
thing of her hopes, plans, and difficulties in organizing 
such a department : 

"This school was formally opened in Urbana, 1874, 
being the first college course of high grade in domestic 
science organized in the United States, if not in the 
world. With no precedent to guide, few or no text- 
books on the subject to furnish material aid, with an 
incredulous public opinion to contend against, and oppo- 
sition in most unexpected quarters to meet, the under- 
taking at the outset seemed formidable enough. But 
the six years that have intervened have sufficed to over- 
come many obstacles and demonstrate the practical value 
of the work. 

"The school was the outgrowth of a conviction that 
a rational system for the higher and better education of 
women must recognize their distinctive duties as women — 
the mothers, housekeepers, and health keepers of the world 
— and furnish instruction which shall fit them to meet 
these duties. 

" As set forth in the catalogue, it was the aim of the 
school to give to earnest and capable young women a 
liberal and practical education, which should fit them for 
their great duties and trusts, making them the equals 
of their educated husbands and associates, and enabling 
them to bring the aids of science and culture to the all- 
important labors and vocations of womanhood. 

1 Special Report of Bureau of Education, 1883, P* 2 79* 

32 Home Economics 

" This school proceeded upon the assumption that the 
housekeeper needs education as much as the house builder, 
the nurse as well as the physician, the leaders of society 
as surely as the leaders of senates, the mother as much 
as the father, the woman as well as the man. We dis- 
carded the old and absurd notion that education is a 
necessity to man, but only an ornament to woman. If 
ignorance is a weakness and a disaster in the places of 
business where the income is won, it is equally so in the 
places of living where the income is expended. If science 
can aid agriculture and the mechanic arts to use more 
successfully nature's forces and to increase the amount 
and value of their products, it can equally aid the house- 
keeper in the finer and more complicated use of those 
forces and agencies in the home, where winter is to be 
changed into genial summer by artificial fires, and dark- 
ness into day by costly illumination ; where the raw 
products of the field are to be transformed into sweet 
and wholesome food by a chemistry finer than that of 
soils, and the products of a hundred manufactories are 
to be put to their final uses for the health and happiness 
of life. 

" The purpose was -to provide a full course of instruc- 
tion in the arts of the household and the sciences relating 
thereto. No industry is more important to human happi- 
ness and well-being than that which makes the home. 
And this industry involves principles of science as many 
and as profound as those which control any other human 

"In the fall of 1874 the writer of this article was called 
to take charge of this school, which then existed only in 
name. During the first year she gave much time to 

Agricultural Colleges and State Universities 33 

mapping out and preparing a course of study, which was 
presented for the first time in the catalogue of 1875-76, 
substantially as follows : " 

Course of Domestic Science as Given in Catalogue 

of Industrial University of Illinois for 

the Year 1875-76 

course of domestic science 
Required for degree of B.S. in school of domestic science. 

First Year 

1 . Chemistry ; trigonometry ; drawing (full term) ; 
British authors. 

2. Chemistry; designing and drawing; American 

3. Chemistry ; designing and drawing ; rhetoric. 

Second Year 

1. Botany ; physiology ; German or English classics. 

2. Food and dietetics (simple aliments) ; botany and 
greenhouse ; German or English classics. 

3. Food and dietetics (compound aliments and prin- 
ciples of cooking, etc.) ; zoology ; German or English 

Third Year 

1 . Domestic hygiene ; ancient history ; German or 

2. Physics; mediaeval history; German or French. 

3. Physics or landscape gardening; modern history; 
German or French. 

34 Home Economics 

Fourth Year 

i. Household aesthetics; mental science; history of 

2. Household science ; constitutional history ; logic. 

3. Domestic economy; usages of society, etc.; polit- 
ical economy ; home architecture ; graduating thesis or 
oration or essay. 

A glance at the course of study outlined by Miss Allen 
shows that her conception of the scope of household sci- 
ence was far in advance of her time, and makes one regret 
deeply that the work so well inaugurated should not have 
been continued. 

It is difficult to give accurate statistics concerning the 
beginning of these departments in all the Land Grant Col- 
leges. The following data have been compiled from the 
" Organization Lists of Colleges and Experiment Stations," 
which begin with the year 1 890 : 


Published in O. E. S. Bulletins 


There were departments of household science in : 
Kansas, Manhattan. Agricultural College. 
Iowa, Ames. Agricultural College. 
Oregon, Corvallis. Agricultural College. 
South Dakota, Brookings. Agricultural College. 
There were added : 

North Dakota, Fargo. Agricultural College. 
Kentucky, Frankfort. Normal and Industrial In- 





stitute. 1 

7. Washington, Pullman. State College. 2 

1 Colored. 

2 Dropped in 1895. Reorganized in 1903. 

Agricultural Colleges and State Universities 35 

8. Utah, Logan. Agricultural College. 

1893. None was added. 

1894. There were added : 

9. Florida, Tallahassee. State Normal and Industrial 
School. 1 

10. Montana, Bozeman. State College of Agriculture 
and Mechanic Arts. 

1895. There were added : 

11. Connecticut, Storrs. Agricultural College. 

12. North Carolina, Greensboro. Agricultural and 
Mechanical College. 2 

13. Louisiana, New Orleans. Southern University and 
Agricultural and Mechanical College. 1 

1896. There were added : 

14. Virginia, Hampton. Normal and Agricultural 

15. Colorado, Fort Collins. Agricultural College 

16. Ohio, Columbus. State University. 

1897. There were added : 

17. Idaho, Moscow. State University. 3 

18. Michigan, Agricultural College. Agricultural 

1898. There were added : 

19. Nebraska, Lincoln. State University. 

20. Alabama, Normal. Agricultural and Mechanical 
College. 1 

21. South Carolina, Orangeburg. Normal and In- 
dustrial. 1 

1 Colored. 

2 Colored. Dropped in 1902. 

3 Dropped in 1899. Two-year course established in 1903. . 

36 Home Economics 

1899. There were added : 

22. Delaware, Dover. State College for Colored 

23. West Virginia, Morgantown. State University. 

24. Minnesota, St. Anthony Park. Agricultural College. 

1900. There were added : 

25. Illinois, Urbana. State University. 

26. Indiana, Lafayette. Purdue University. 1 

27. Oklahoma, Stillwater. Agricultural and Mechan- 
ical College. 

28. Arizona, Tucson. State University. 

29. Missouri, Jefferson City. Lincoln Institute. 2 

30. New Mexico, Mesilla Park. Agricultural College. 

1 90 1. There were added : 

31. Nevada, Reno. State University. 

32. Missouri, Columbia. State University. 3 

1902. There were added : 

33. Oklahoma, Langston. Agricultural and Normal 
University. 2 

34. West Virginia, Institute. 2 

1903. There were added : 

35. Tennessee, Knoxville. State University. 4 

36. Wisconsin, Madison. State University. 

1904. None was added. 

1905. Indiana, Lafayette. Purdue University. 1 

From these data it appears that departments existed 
in 1890 in Kansas, Iowa, Oregon, and South Dakota. 

1 Dropped in 1903. Reorganized in 1905. 

2 Colored. 

3 Dropped in 1904. Reorganized in 1906. 

4 Had a tentative course in 1897 and 1898, 

Agricultural Colleges and State Universities 37 

The data concerning Kansas and Iowa have already been 
given. From private sources it was learned that the last 
named department in connection with the Agricultural 
College at Brookings was organized in 1887. By 1895 
the number of such departments had increased to ten. 
At the close of 1900 the list includes the names of thirty 
departments, among them one at the University of Illinois. 
By 1905 the list had increased to thirty-six. And as we 
go to press, word comes of the reorganization of this 
department in the University of Missouri. This means 
that practically every one of the Land Grant Colleges in 
the North and West has such departments. As coedu- 
cation is not popular in the East, Home Economics is not 
included in the curricula of the Land Grant Colleges of 
that region. But Home Economics has been developed 
and carried on there by other agencies. 1 

How widespread and universal is the interest in the 
work may perhaps be indicated in part by the attention 
given to it by the Secretary of Agriculture in his report 
of June 30, 1897, in which he says: 2 

"Among the educational movements which in recent 
years have engaged the attention of the public none has 
been received with greater favor than the attempt to 
introduce into schools for girls and women some sys- 
tematic teaching of the arts which are practiced in the 
home. Many of the colleges of agriculture and mechanic 
arts, together with scientific, technical, and industrial 
schools, now maintain a department of domestic science. 
Cooking and sewing are quite commonly taught in the 
public schools, and cooking schools for women have been 

1 See pp. 44 and 52. 

2 Year-Book, Department of Agriculture, June 30, 1897. 

38 Home Economics 

organized in numerous places. While useful instruction 
in these lines is imparted, it is generally recognized that 
much remains to be done before the teaching of domestic 
science can assume its most effective form. 

"In this, as in other branches of instruction which 
have a vital relation to the arts and industries, the student 
should learn not only the best methods of doing the things 
required by the daily needs of home life, but also the 
reasons why certain things are to be done and others 
avoided. In other words, this teaching needs a scientific 
basis if it is to be thoroughly useful. In this respect 
domestic science is in the same category with medicine, 
engineering, and agriculture. It is not so very long ago 
that medicine and engineering were very largely empirical 
arts, and the schools of medicine and engineering were 
principally engaged in teaching men the things they were 
to do when they became doctors or engineers. To-day 
no doctor or engineer is considered fitted to pursue his 
profession until he has drunk deep at the fountains of 
science and knows well the principles on which successful 
practice must be based. In agriculture it is coming to 
be clearly seen that teaching the boy how to plow or 
to perform any other farm operation is not the most 
important service which the school can render. There 
must be added to this definite and careful instruction in 
the principles on which agricultural practice is based. 
The farmer must be taught to think in the lines where 
science has shed light upon his art if his practice is to 
be most thoroughly successful. Fortunately science has 
already much to tell the farmer which is most useful 
to him, and every year sees an increase in the great 
store from which the agricultural student can safely draw. 

Agricultural Colleges and State Universities 39 

" Now, what has been done for the boy in agriculture 
and engineering needs to be done for the girl in domestic 
art and science. And already the beginnings of a far- 
reaching effort in this direction have been made. The 
teachers of domestic science are not content to follow a 
dull routine of household drudgery in their teaching. They 
are appealing to the scientist and specialist in lines which 
touch the home life to explain the principles on which home 
practices should rest, and to show them how intelligent 
taste and skill can make the home a pleasant place to 
live in, and how scientific knowledge can enable the home 
keeper to maintain the health and generally promote the 
physical well-being of those committed to her charge. 
Some progress has been made in formulating the replies 
which science is now able to give to inquiries relating to 
domestic science and in undertaking investigations with 
a view to greatly broadening our knowledge of these 
matters in the days to come. 

" In the great work of helping the women of our land, 
nearly half of whom are toiling in the homes upon our 
farms, this department, it is believed, has a large duty 
to perform. For whatever will be effective in raising 
the grade of the home life on the farm, in securing the 
better nourishment of the farmer's family, and in sur- 
rounding them with the refinements and attractions of 
a well-ordered home will powerfully contribute alike to 
the material prosperity of the country and the general 
welfare of the farmers. The investigations which the 
department has undertaken on the food and nutrition of 
man have already been of much service to the teachers 
and students of domestic science, and it is hoped that 
these investigations will hereafter be still more helpful 

40 Home Economics 

in establishing a scientific basis for the teaching and 
practice of human nutrition. Through its close relations 
with the agricultural colleges and other institutions for 
industrial training of the youth, the department may in- 
cidentally aid the movement to educate women in the 
rational practice of the arts of the home. ,, 

It is easy to see from this report that the need of 
a scientific basis for the work is appreciated. Institutions 
supported by public funds must show to their supporters 
that lines of work undertaken by them have a sure founda- 
tion in some educational principles. Courses in applied 
science and applied art must have their foundation in the 
principles of pure science and follow the guidance of pure 
art. A still further evidence of government interest and 
influence in behalf of the work comes from the last report 
of Director A. C. True, of the Office of Experiment 
Stations : 

" It is very important that the Department, interested 
as it is in agricultural education, should make a closer 
study of the courses of instruction in home economics 
or domestic science as taught in schools and colleges, 
especially the colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts, 
throughout the country with a view to aiding teachers in 
their work to a greater degree than at present. Satis- 
factory text-books on food and nutrition (important branches 
of home economics) are not available, and at present a 
large proportion of the teachers depend on Department 
publications to supply their place. There is a demand for 
more nutrition publications, both technical and popular, 
like those now issued, and also for new series on some- 
what different lines. Thus simple leaflets are needed for 
instruction in primary grades, and charts showing in 

Agricultural Colleges and State Universities 41 

graphic form results of nutrition investigations are very 
often requested, as well as directions for preparing speci- 
mens and other material illustrating the composition of 
food in a concrete way, as was done by the office at the 
St. Louis Exposition. It is also very important to gather 
together and place in pedagogical form the widely scat- 
tered facts relating to food principles which underlie 
cookery, proper food combinations, body requirements, 
digestibility and hygiene of food and living, and related 
questions. In the teaching of animal production, agron- 
omy, and other agricultural topics, pedagogical work 
similar to that proposed has resulted in the formulation 
of very satisfactory courses of inst ruction.' y 

It will thus be seen that while many agencies have 
contributed to the development of Home Economics, no 
one agency has been more effective than the Land Grant 
Colleges. No one agency has seen the possibilities of the 
subject so clearly or laid for it such broad and deep 
foundations. As they were among the first to recognize 
the need for a scientific basis, they have been most in- 
sistent that this standard should be maintained, and the 
department has soon realized the necessity of maintaining 
college ideals in its work if it would have the respect of 
the college community. 

Agriculture and Home Economics have had much in 
common in their development. Both are among the 
newer subjects of the college curricula, so they have had 
to bear the questioning that is certain to be bestowed 
upon any new idea, the indifference of those who feel 
that "the old way is the best way," the scorn of the 
student of the classics for "bread and butter education." 
Even well-intentioned friends have feared that profession- 

42 Home Economics 

alism or the trade school idea was to dominate the college 

Yet in spite of these obstacles both Agriculture and 
Home Economics have steadily made perceptible progress 
toward better educational standards. Both have dealt at 
first hand with the primal necessities of human beings. 
This practical age recognizes the necessity of a sound 
material and physical media for the expression of economic 
and esthetic ideas, and so is willing to give part of its 
best energies to the consideration of this earth upon which 
we tread, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the 
food we eat, the houses we live in, and the clothes we 
wear. The old idea that anybody can farm and that any- 
body can cook has well-nigh disappeared, and with it the 
idea that farming means plowing only and that the activi- 
ties of the home are fully represented by the making of 
hot biscuits. 

It has been well for both Agriculture and Home Eco- 
nomics that their origin and their materials have kept 
them closely in touch with the people. The spirit which 
animated the founding of the Land Grant Colleges was the 
spirit of the development of the individual that he might 
yield better service to the nation, that so the nation's 
interests might be advanced. So the final outcome of 
either line of work has always meant better homes, better 
citizens. One great factor in the development of both 
subjects has been the generous support afforded it and the 
consequent freedom to try experiments that required time 
and money that few private enterprises could command. 

It is evident, then, that in the varying lines of work 
included in the term Home Economics there is room for 
a great variety of agencies and very diverse methods of 

Agricultural Colleges and State Universities 43 

procedure. It would also appear that there yet remains 
to the Land Grant Colleges and the State Universities the 
task which was theirs in the beginning, viz., the strength- 
ening and deepening of the scientific basis. It is theirs 
to determine the principles which underlie processes with 
which the world has long been familiar, and to elucidate 
and interpret the newer phenomena in their relations. It 
is their privilege to dignify labor by sending forth from 
their halls, not farmers merely and cooks, but educated 
men and women, who, because of their knowledge and 
skill in the practices and principles of the arts of the 
home, shall be able to use them as a means of expression 
for their best endeavors. 


AMONG the agencies which have contributed to the 
development of the Home Economics movement, 
private and public cooking schools hold an important 
place. They have been in no small degree the makers 
of public sentiment. They have demonstrated beyond 
the shadow of a doubt the desirability and possibility of 
having good food well served at small expense, and so 
ministered to a universal need. It has been their privi- 
lege to touch at first hand the homes of all classes and 
conditions of people, and so to create a demand for instruc- 
tion in the arts of the home in the public school. The 
records show that again and again cooking has been in- 
troduced into the public schools only after some public- 
spirited citizen had demonstrated its benefits in a private 
school. It has seemed desirable in this connection to 
give something of the beginnings of cooking schools in 
the United States by brief histories of some of the earlier 

The early work in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia 
is given because it seems to be typical of the movement 
throughout the country. 


The New York Cooking School in New York City 
claims to be the starting point in the movement for 
improving cookery in this country. It had its beginning 

1 Circular of Information of the Bureau of Education, No. 4, 1879. 


Cooking Schools 45 

in 1874 in connection with the free Training School for 
Women, with Miss Juliet Corson as Superintendent of 
this department. The first year 200 persons attended 
the classes. 

In 1875 Miss Corson organized the Ladies' Cooking 
Class, and in November, 1876, she opened the New York 
Cooking School in her home in St. Mark's Place. The 
plain cook's class of the New York Cooking School was 
incorporated in 1878, and had for its objects "the in- 
struction in the principles of plain family cooking for 
young housekeepers in moderate circumstances, young 
women employed as domestics, and the wives and daugh- 
ters of working men." These lessons proved so popular 
that Miss Corson thoroughly studied this part of the 
problem, and as a result published and distributed 50,000 
copies of the pamphlet called " Fifteen Cent Dinners for 
Workmen's Families." She gave public lessons to work- 
ing people, and found the result so satisfactory that she 
established cooking classes for working men's children as a 
part of the regular work of the school. The interest and 
enthusiasm manifested by the public in the work of the 
school are shown by the fact that from January to April, 
1879, Miss Corson had taught 6,560 persons in public 
and private lectures and lessons. Miss Corson believed 
in graded schools of cookery, which should include the 
following branches of instruction : x 

"(1) A class of schools for the training of children of 
working people in that kind of cookery most suitable for 
use in their own homes, the instruction to be varied in 
accordance with local requirements. 

1 Circular of Information of the Bureau of Education, No. 4, 1879, 
p. 22. 

46 Home Economics 

" (2) A class of schools for the instruction of plain 
cooks in the principles of moderately expensive cookery 
adapted to the needs of families in comfortable circum- 
stances ; also the appropriate and economical combination 
of the remains of food which has already appeared on the 
table into appetizing dishes. This course includes some 
instruction bearing on the choice of food for its economic 
and sanitary value. 

" (3) A class of schools for high-class cookery, in which 
suitable persons, both male and female, may receive in- 
struction in the more difficult branches of the culinary 
art, so as to be fitted to fill the positions of head cooks 
in large private establishments, clubs, and hotels. A de- 
partment can be devoted to alimentary experiments with 
new food products in direct relation to their nutritive 
and economic value. 

" (4) Normal schools of cookery, where ladies can be 
taught the theory and practice of domestic economy, both 
in reference to its practice in their own homes and in 
training others in this accomplishment. Proficient house- 
keepers and ladies who have already assumed the direc- 
tion of their own households can attend this department 
with advantage, with the following objects in view : the 
use of different articles of food in relation to varying 
physical needs ; the alteration and improvement of the 
dietaries of individuals following certain pursuits, in ac- 
cordance with their special requirements ; and the detection 
of the adulteration or deterioration of different foods." 

miss parloa's work 

Miss Parloa's first public lecture on cooking was given 
in New London, Connecticut, in 1876. Her first lectures 

Cooking Schools 47 

in Boston were given in Tremont Temple, beginning 
May 23, 1877, and in October Miss Parloa opened her 
school on Tremont Street, Boston. In the spring of 1878 
she gave lectures to the pupils of Miss Morgan's school 
at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and at Lasell Seminary, 
Auburndale, Massachusetts. In the summer of 1878 she 
went to Europe and visited schools in England and France. 
In 1879 she gave lectures in the cooking school started 
by the Woman's Educational Association at Boston. In 
August, 1879, a school was conducted by Miss Parloa in 
connection with the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific 
Circle and National Sunday School Assembly, held at 
Chautauqua, New York. Miss Parloa gives an account 
of the beginning of her work as follows : 

"The beginning of my work was accidental and did 
not have the commercial side in view. I was teaching 
in a little country school in Florida, and interested in all 
the people there. There seemed to be need of bringing 
all the people, children and parents, together at least once 
a week, and we tried to do it in the Sunday school in the 
sparsely settled part of the town. We felt the need of 
some sort of a musical instrument, and I tried to raise 
the money by asking various friends and acquaintances 
for it, and got quite a little that way ; finally I gave a 
talk on cookery, prepared a paper carefully describing the 
processes of digestion, etc., and then with a little gas 
stove illustrated some things. The talk was given in the 
vestry of a church, and with what I had already collected 
and the money received from this lecture I had nearly 
enough money to buy a small cabinet organ. Two of my 
friends gave the amount lacking, which was $10, and we 
bought the organ for the little Sunday school. After 

48 Home Economics 

this lecture, so many of my friends urged me to do this 
thing that I thought seriously of it, and the next spring, 
at the end of the school year, when all teachers were 
asked to make their applications for the next year, I 
asked the school board to hold the school for me a few 
months until I was sure as to whether I would return; 
they kindly did it. Then, to test whether there was inter- 
est in the work and if I had the proper qualifications for 
it, I arranged for a series of lectures in Boston in one of 
the lecture rooms in Tremont Temple. 

" The interest seemed to warrant my undertaking the 
work, and I decided to open a school in the fall, 1877, 
which I did on Tremont Street. The interest was very 
great, and all the time I had my school in Boston I had 
more than I possibly could do ; but naturally the expenses 
were great, and the first year, although I worked so very 
hard, my expenses were $500 over my income from my 
work. Afterwards my expenses were not so great and 
the income was more than the outgo. * Personally I do 
not think that the commercial side appealed to me very 
greatly, but naturally if I spend money for a work I must 
earn enough to pay my debts. The work to me has been, 
and still is, most interesting ; and I feel that it is one of 
the largest and broadest works a woman can do, and if 
I had the time, strength, and means I would devote 
myself to it still. I feel that while a great deal has been 
done along these lines that it is only the beginning. It 
is a magnificent work for any young woman to take up. 

"Among my pupils during my first school year (1877) 
in Boston I had a Miss Lizzie Devereux, a cultured girl, 
who was an excellent pupil. She at that time was house- 
keeper for a lady in Brookline. A club, either the New 
Century or the Philadelphia, I do not remember which, 

Cooking Schools 49 

wrote asking me if I could send them a teacher if they 
started a cooking school, and I suggested Miss Devereux 
if they could get her. She went to Philadelphia and took 
charge of the school for a year, after which Mrs. Rorer 
assumed control/ ' 


In 1872 an interesting association was formed in 
Boston known as the Woman's Education Association. 
"The formation of standing committees on industrial, 
intellectual, esthetic, moral, and physical education ex- 
pressed the desire of the founders that the better edu- 
cation of women should be " understood in the broadest 
sense/ ' 

As a result of the work of the Committee on Indus- 
trial Education a cooking school was started March, 1879, 
which in four years was incorporated as the Boston Cook- 
ing School, with Mrs. Sarah E. Hooper as president. 
Mrs. Hooper was a member of the Woman's Education 
Association, and chairman of the Industrial Committee, 
and it is largely due to her work and enthusiasm that 
the first incorporated cooking school in America owes 
its origin. 

The primary object of the school was to give instruc- 
tion in cooking to a class of women who would make it 
practically useful. But after the first season it was found 
difficult to create the interest among that class, so it was 
decided to open the school to all who wished to attend. 
The result was a large increase of attendance. The first 
teacher was Miss Johanna Sweeney, who had been con- 

1 Report of Woman's Education Association, 1893. Data furnished 
by Mrs. Sarah E. Hooper. Report of Annual Meeting of Boston Cooking 
School, 1883. 

$6 Home Economics 

ducting private classes in cooking. She had taken few 
lessons, but "was a born cook." Miss Parloa, who was 
giving public demonstrations at Tremont Temple, was also 
engaged to give weekly demonstrations in addition to 
Miss Sweeney's work. 

In December, 1879, Mrs. D. A. Lincoln became 
principal of the school, and from that time until now 
her name has been prominent in the work. Other people 
connected with the school as principals are Miss Ida 
Maynard, Mrs. C. M. Dearborn, Miss Fannie M. Farmer, 
and Miss M. W. Howard. 

Soon after the establishment of the Boston Cooking 
School it was found necessary to have a normal class 
to supply teachers for other cooking schools, and for 
many of the public schools. A service was rendered 
to the public schools by Mrs. Lincoln, who' prepared a 
course of lessons in cookery for the pupils in the Boston 
public school. 

The Boston Cooking School existed as a separate 
institution until it was made a part of Simmons College 
in 1902. 


Mrs. Rorer gives the following account of her work : 
"The New Century Club had opened a school of 
cookery (1878) under the care of a Miss Devereux, a 
pupil of Miss Parloa, and a Miss Sweeney, a pastry cook 
in Boston. A cousin, who was chairman of the Commit- 
tee of Household Science in the New Century Club, called 
upon me and urged me to join the first class for the good 
of my family, which I did. I, at that time, was studying 
chemistry, or pharmacy, with the idea of occupying the 
first position of this kind given to a woman in Philadelphia. 

Cooking Schools 51 

I was also doing some preparatory work for the medical 
course in the Woman's College. I had not matriculated. 
I entered the cooking class, and I became so interested, 
and I saw so many possibilities coming from a school of 
this kind, that I immediately gave up my other work and 
went into this heart and soul. In less than a year I had 
given a course of cooking lectures, pure and simple, to 
the fourth year students at the Woman's Medical College, 
and I had the honor of illustrating the first course of lec- 
tures given by a woman in the Franklin Institute of Phila- 
delphia. Dean Bodley was asked to give a scientific 
course on household science, and I illustrated these for 
her. From that time to this, as you know, I have never 
wanted for an audience. I have never been out of the 
work ; I have never had any hindrances ; on the contrary, 
it seemed to me that everybody welcomed any knowledge 
that they could get along practical lines. At the end of 
my first year Miss Devereux retired — her health broke 
down during the winter — and I was elected by the New 
Century Club to take her place. I taught for the Club 
for two years. A number of physicians in Philadelphia, 
realizing the importance of the work, asked me to with- 
draw from the Club and start an independent school. 
I did, and the first year I enrolled seventy-four practice 
pupils ; I gave four demonstration lectures during the 
week, with audiences ranging from 1,000 to 5,000. There 
never was any drawback to any of the work after that. 
I named the school the Philadelphia School. It continued 
for twenty-five years." 


UNDER this heading no attempt is made to give more 
than the merest beginnings of some forms of hand 
work which are found in the public schools. 

Sewing seems to be the first form in which manual 
training for girls was introduced into the public school 
system. 1 The early records of Boston, Massachusetts, 
indicate that after the public schools were opened to girls 
in 1798 they had instruction in needlework from their 
regular teachers. In 1835 it was taught to the girls in 
the second and third grammar grades, and in 1854 it was 
extended to the fourth grammar grade by permission of 
the Board of Education. 

In 1872 2 the legislature of Massachusetts passed an 
act legalizing sewing and other industrial education. By 
this act Massachusetts claims the leadership in public 
industrial education in this country. 

In 1873 8 Mr. Robert Swan, of the Winthrop School 
of Boston, was instrumental in having a regular teacher of 
sewing appointed for his school. 

From this beginning the teaching of sewing in the 
public schools has gradually spread. 

1 Report of Massachusetts Commission on Manual Training and Indus- 
trial Education, 1893, PP- 5 1 ? 5 2, 

2 Report of the Commissioner of Education, 1873, P- I ^9 < 

3 ibid.) pp. cxxxix, cxl. 

3 2 

Public Schools 53 


In 1 8 70 2 the Massachusetts legislature passed an act 
which made drawing obligatory in the public schools of 
the state. This was the beginning of a vigorous move- 
ment toward its introduction throughout the country. 
Drawing paved the way for other industrial training, and 
aside from sewing was the first form in which it was 


In 1855 Mrs. Carl Schurz 2 opened a kindergarten 
in Watertown, Wisconsin. As a result of this under- 
taking Miss Elizabeth Peabody started a kindergarten in 
Boston in i860. 

In 1867 Miss Elizabeth Peabody, 3 Mrs. George R. 
Russel, and Mrs. Hemenway and others petitioned the 
school board of Boston for a kindergarten, and in 1870 
an experimental one was established in connection with 
the public school, but was given up in 1879. 

In 1878 Mrs. Pauline Shaw 4 began her work of found- 
ing kindergartens in Boston, and in 1887 sixteen kinder- 
gartens that had been supported by her were handed 
over to the public school system. 

Boston, 5 St. Louis, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and 
New York City were the centers of the early kindergarten 

1 Report of the Commissioner of Education, 1873, PP- I 7°» I 7 I » ci-cv; 
History of Education in the United States, N. M. Butler, p. 712. 

2 Boone's History of Education in the United States, p. 333. 

3 Report of the Commissioner of Education, 1877-88, p. 840, 
±Ibid., p. 820. 

tjttd; p. 840, 

54 Home Economics 

About 1890 1 manual training was introduced into the 
primary grades in Boston. Until this attempt the field 
between the kindergarten and the departments of sewing, 
cooking, and woodwork in the grammar school was an 
untried one so far as manual training was concerned. 

Massachusetts takes the lead in introducing manual 
training for girls into public school system, but New Jersey, 
New York, Connecticut, Washington (District of Colum- 
bia), and Illinois were among the earlier ones. 


In 1885 two schools of cookery were opened in Boston 
which drew their pupils from the public schools. One was 
at North Bennet Street, Boston, and the other at Tennyson 
Street, Boston. 

The Work of the North Bennet Street Industrial School* 

"At the risk of repeating too often what has been 
said many times already, it is perhaps well to begin every 
report of a year's work by stating the object of this 
undertaking. The North Bennet Street Industrial School 
exists primarily for the purpose of giving manual training 
to large numbers of pupils of varying ages, and it does 
this with the constant hope that by its work and experi- 
ments the day may be hastened when such training may 
be more fully incorporated into the public school system 
of Boston. 

" This work is founded in the new but growing faith 
that 'the whole boy should be sent to school and not a 

1 Report of the Massachusetts Commission on Manual Training and 
Industrial Education, 1893, p. 37 ; Report of the Commissioner of Edu- 
cation, 1877-88, pp. 841, 842. 

2 From a report for 1887-88 lent by Mrs. Ellen H. Richards. 

Public Schools 55 

part of him ' ; that it is not enough to train the intellect 
alone, by what have been well called ' mental gymnastics/ 
but that the eye and the hand are together the most 
trustworthy leaders of the brain ; that < all the members ' 
must hereafter be trained together, so that the eye shall 
no longer say to the hand 'we have no need of thee.' 

"The work of this school immediately following the 
last year's report was the summer vacation school. This 
undertaking is regarded as one of great importance, secur- 
ing, as it does, occupation and wholesome influences for 
large numbers of idle children during those weeks of 
summer when there is no other school. Unusual effort 
was made last summer to hold the interest of the children, 
and thus to secure greater regularity of attendance than 
has hitherto been possible in this season of freedom from 
all restraint. 

"The result was, on the whole, good, allowance being 
made for i Country Week ' excursions, picnics, etc. The 
work accomplished was of a better quality than ever 
before, especially good results being obtained in work with 
the jackknife, with small tools in the carpenter's shop, in 
sewing, dress cutting and making, and, with very young 
classes, in clay modeling. Two very successful classes 
in cooking were carried on here, for the first time, during 
vacation school, taking in girls who could not join the 
winter classes, forty-five girls receiving a course of fifteen 
lessons each during July and August. Some effective 
lessons in mental arithmetic, involving quick mental work 
with small numbers, were a new and satisfactory feature 
of the summer work, coming sometimes as an enlivening 
break between sewing and calisthenics. 

"More than 1,000 tickets of admission to the vacation 

56 Home Economics 

school were eagerly asked for and taken, of which 796 
were presented ; and those who understand the peculiar 
difficulties and discouragements of vacation work will 
probably consider the result a successful one on learning 
that a general attendance of 340 was obtained. A con- 
tribution of $755 towards the expense of the vacation 
school was gratefully received, through Mrs. James T. 
Fields, from some friends especially interested in the work 
of the Associated Charities in Ward 7, with the condition 
that not more than $400 should be spent for the summer 
of 1887, leaving $355 for 1888. 

"The regular school year began here, as usual, early 
in September, with classes in carpentry (two departments), 
printing, shoemaking, modeling, and cooking. The num- 
ber enrolled from public schools during this year is 1,112, 
a gain of 234 over last year. There are also evening 
classes, numbering 208. Dressmaking is taught on five 
evenings of the week, with an increasing demand for 
places in the already full classes. There are evening 
classes in carpentry, printing, and shoemaking; an adult 
evening class in cooking ; and a normal class in the use 
of woodworking tools has lately been started on one 
evening of the week. We have, thus, a showing of 1,320 
pupils in some form of manual training weekly, as compared 
with 972 last year. 

" A new department of elementary carpentry has been 
added this year, with tools and problems adapted to the 
powers of boys under fourteen years of age. This meets 
a long-felt want, the need being greatest where children 
have not had the benefit of the kindergarten, wherein 
all manual training has its natural beginning, and even 
for those who have had this start there has been m 

Public Schools 57 

injurious break between the ages of six and fourteen. 
Here the department of clay modeling also does an im- 
portant work in preparing the way for the use of tools 
and for the handling of less plastic material. It is worthy 
of note that the manual work, in these departments, of 
boys from the ungraded classes — those exceptionally 
backward with books — compares favorably with that of 
pupils standing far above them in school. 

" But this institution is not merely a manual training 
school. The commodious building makes it possible that 
other work of a most interesting character should be 
undertaken, and the evening brings large numbers here 
who come for gymnastics and military drill, with special 
instructors, for sewing, recreation, reading, and social inter- 
course. Much valuable volunteer assistance is given in 
connection with this part of the work, and the whole 
number enrolled for these evening recreations is 660. 

"It is impossible to give an adequate idea of the 
far-reaching influence of this part of the work. The visi- 
ble effects of military drill have been such as to astonish 
even its warmest advocates. Boys who entered a year 
ago, rough in manner and careless in appearance, have 
been transformed into, apparently, quiet, self-respecting 
youths, quick to obey and eager to learn, filling positions 
as drillmasters of raw recruits from time to time with 
pride and self-possession. 

" It is needless to dwell upon the advantages of gym- 
nastic work for both boys and girls. The gymnasium 
for girls has been under the charge of a medical director, 
who has made it her special aim to give such exercises 
as would counteract the evil effects of confining work 
in close rooms and factories, 

58 Home Economics 

"The game clubs are in charge of a number of ladies, 
who are giving most untiring, faithful, and loving service 
to them. The quiet, elevating influence of this work 
upon boys is shown by their quick response to any sug- 
gestion from their < teachers/ as they like to call these 
ladies, and by the eager almost chivalrous way in which 
they try to be of use. Some of the boys are undoubtedly 
making an honest effort to overcome the excessive use 
of tobacco, and profanity is now never heard in the club. 

" There are also social clubs for girls, where sewing, 
making of buttonholes, embroidery, knitting, and crochet- 
ing are taught. A simple course in botany, given by a 
young lady who has come from Cambridge every week 
for this purpose, has proved most interesting to some of 
the older girls, who have also enjoyed some delightful 
imaginary trips to Rome, Venice, Algeria, and other dis- 
tant lands, by means of photographs and vivid descrip- 
tions ; while reading aloud, games, music, and dancing are 
always a welcome rest and recreation to those who have 
been shut up all day in workshops. 

"During Christmas week the young ladies in charge 
of the Thursday night game club gave a concert and 
Christmas tree, not only to their own special boys, but 
to all the clubs that met in the building on other even- 
ings, and a happy throng of over two hundred received 
some remembrance from the gay, sparkling, well-filled 

" Encouragement for the hope that out of our experi- 
mental work the cause of public education may reap 
permanent benefit is found in the fact that as a result 
of such efforts the teaching of cooking has this year been 
partially established in the public schools of Boston, the 

Public Schools 59 

initial steps in this movement having been taken in this 
school. It is interesting to notice how rapidly this leaven 
has worked. In 'School Document No. 3, 1885/ which 
contains a report of the < Committee on a Manual Training 
School/ one may read that on the 27th day of February, 
1885^ a hearing was given by this committee to those 
supposed to be interested in the subject of manual train- 
ing, and that the matter immediately under consideration 
at that time was whether pupils from public schools might 
be allowed to accept the offer of Mrs. Quincy A. Shaw to 
receive manual training in the North Bennet Street Indus- 
trial School. /Cooking, housekeeping, and laundry work 
were offered 10 girls, and printing, carpentry, and shoe- 
making to boys. The same document shows that within 
a month, March, 1885, an order was passed giving per- 
mission to pupils to accept this offer, provided that parents 
should 'so request/ etc. Mrs. Richards of the Institute 
of Technology was then, as always, using her valuable 
influence to further this cause, as was also Miss Crocker ; 
and in ^a^j^^^a f ew small classes in cookery were 
started in the North ^Bennet Street Industrial School, 
under the able instruction of Miss Amy Barnes. The 
pupils were from the Hancock School. This was the 
entering wedge. In the following July classes in cookery 
were formed in a vacation school in Tennyson Street, sup- 
ported by Mrs. Hemenway and under the efficient direc- 
tion of Miss Homans, with Miss Amy Barnes as teacher. 
This school was much visited, and made a strong impres- 
sion on the public mind ; and in October of the same year, 
1885, two schools of cookery were simultaneously estab- 
lished, drawing their classes from the public schools, and 
each giving instruction to 150 pupils weekly as part of 

60 Home Economics 

the regular school work. One of these, in Tennyson 
Street, was supported by Mrs. Hemenway, and the other 
was carried on by the North Bennet Street Industrial 
School. It should here be said that the department of 
cookery in this school has always been largely indebted 
to the generosity of Miss Sarah B. Fay, who has this year 
assumed its entire support. In the next year, 1886, a 
school of cookery was established, by private enterprise, 
in Jamaica Plain, and the School Board of Boston started 
one in South Boston, so that 484 girls were then receiving 
lessons in cookery. In 1887 we had all learned how to 
double our numbers, with a very small increase of expense. 
The city had established another 'school kitchen ' in Rox- 
bury, one was under way in Charlestown, and 1,800 girls 
of the public schools of Boston were having, or had had, 
a course of twenty lessons in cookery during the school 

"The subject of cooking schools must not be dismissed 
without allusion to the great need of thoroughly educated 
teachers, and to the important service which Mrs. Hemen- 
way and Miss Homans are at this moment rendering in 
establishing a normal class, with Mrs. Lincoln as teacher. 
The value of this is fully appreciated only by those who 
have seen how easily the whole subject may be degraded 
or exalted by the standard of the teacher. 

"In the hurried preparation of a form in invitation 
to this meeting, it was stated that about 1,400 persons 
were in attendance here, weekly ; this was based on esti- 
mates made in 1887, and was known to be within the 
facts. An accurate estimate now made to March, 1888, 
shows an attendance in all departments, exclusive of kin- 
dergarten and nursery, of 2,321, as compared with 1,500 
last year, and this with a very small increase of expense. 

Public Schools 61 

" It is believed that private experimental work in this 
field will only make itself practically felt when it can 
point out good methods of dealing with large classes 
without too great cost. Showy and expensive methods 
will always cripple and retard the cause. The free kin- 
dergartens of Boston, the late offer of which to the city 
has met with such a sympathetic reception, perfected as 
they are after years of careful work, furnish another 
striking illustration of the kind of service this school 
means to render. 

" We ask for more manual training, because we agree 
with Professor Woodward when he says, that 'in most 
of our schools there is too much sameness and monotony, 
too much intellectual weariness and torpor/ ' Did you 
ever see a child,' he asks, ' whose mind was nauseated 
with spelling books, lexicons, and grammars, and an end- 
less hash of the two doctors, Johann Pestalozzi and Fried- 
rich Froebel? And did you watch the magic influence 
of a diet of Things prescribed by the former, in place of 
Words, and a little vigorous Doing in place of Talking 
under the direction of the latter ? ' 

"It is because we have profited by such hints as this 
that this school stands, here, a perpetual plea for the 
broader and more rational education of all our children. 
' All our children ! ' And yet one is tempted to say a 
special word for those *unlucky boys, with good perceptive 
powers, but whose strength 'lies not in the direction of 
memory ' ; the boys who, General Walker tells us, are 
'plowed under, in our schools, as not worth harvesting/ 
'And yet/ he says, 'it not infrequently happens that the 
boy who is regarded as dull, because he cannot master 
an artificial system of grammatical analysis, isn't worth 

62 Home Economics 

a cent for giving a list of the kings of England, doesn't 
know and doesn't care what are the principal productions 
of Borneo, has a better pair of eyes, a better pair of 
hands, a better judgment, and, even by the standards 
of the merchant, the manufacturer, and the railroad presi- 
dent, a better head than his master. Now the manual 
training school proposes to cultivate and harvest both 
kinds of boys.' Finally, we are reminded by another 
enthusiastic educator, that i the universe has two spheres : 
one of matter, the other of mind. To be prepared for 
one's work in both, one must be trained in both. Per- 
ception, memory, and judgment are to be developed, culti- 
vated, trained. These mental faculties, however divided 
and subdivided, are to be treated in a rational manner, 
that the mind may possess what we call POWER. This 
is the choicest fruit of education.' " 

Tennyson Street School^- 

" In the summer of 1883 an Industrial Vacation School 
w^as opened in the Starr King Schoolhouse, Boston, not 
for the purpose of keeping girls out of the streets, nor of 
pleasantly entertaining them indoors, but of finding out, 
if possible, by practical experiment, if there were any kind 
of manual training important for every girl to have regard- 
less of her social status. And finding this out, to ask 
the privilege of trying the experiment in connection with 
the public schools, with a hope that ultimately it should 
be made a part of the curriculum upon the ground that 
for any instruction of general utility public money might 
be legitimately expended. 

"This vacation school was continued during the sum- 

1 Material furnished by Miss Amy M. Homans. 

Public Schools 63 

mers of 1883 and 1884. In June, 1885, it was determined 
to ask not only for the use of a schoolhouse, but for the 
privilege of fitting up one of its brick basement rooms 
for a kitchen. It was thought that if instruction in prac- 
tical cooking could be given successfully to large classes in 
a public schoolhouse, even at private expense, the privilege 
would be granted to the girls of the grammar schools, in 
the section wherein this kitchen was, of receiving instruc- 
tion in cooking during the school year. After consider- 
ation, the superintendent of buildings permitted two-thirds 
only of the room asked for to be converted into a kitchen, 
stipulating that there should be no expense to the city, 
and however great the outlay required to do this, the room 
should be restored to its original condition before the 
opening of the school in September, if so ordered. To 
this cheerful assent was given. 

"The experiment was tried. Among the 300 visitors 
to this school, in which cooking was but one of the many 
branches of manual training taught, were the superin- 
tendent of schools and several members of the school 
board. Notably, two of the manual training school com- 
mittee, who by chance chose the day upon which a dinner 
— a most savory meal — -was served, for their visit. 

" These gentlemen dined, and it has been hinted that 
that dinner had a mighty influence upon the decision 
that that same committee had to make in September, at 
which time a hearing was given to persons interested in 
industrial training. At this meeting the management of 
the school in Tennyson Street appeared, and asked leave 
to enlarge the kitchen in the Starr King Schoolhouse to 
full size of basement room and to maintain a cooking 
school therein, which should be attended by 150 girls 

64 Home Economics 

from the South End grammar schools, and which should 
be known as Boston School Kitchen No. I, as it would 
be the first school kitchen in Boston and the first in any 
public schoolhouse in the United States. 

"Accordingly in school committee, October 26, 1885, 
it was voted to permit girls of the Everett, Franklin, 
Horace Mann (a school for deaf mutes), Hyde, and Win- 
throp Schools to attend Boston School Kitchen No. 1, 
provided that the parents or guardians of the pupils so 
requested in writing, the pupils to attend on probation 
under the direction of the manual training committee, 
who presented at the same meeting rules and regulations 
governing the schools of cooking (School Document 
No. 15, October 27, 1885). 

"Just here I would say a word concerning the cost 
of this first kitchen. The exact amount is not necessary 
to know. It will be sufficient to tell you that the money 
expended for School Kitchen No. 1 would, with expe- 
rience gained, equip six kitchens quite as satisfactorily, 
and in some respects more so. This is an evidence of 
the great value of private cooperation in experimental 
work. It is safe to say that no city would feel justified 
in experimenting to this extent with public money. The 
great danger, and perhaps the only one, to any city in 
accepting private help is that when the time is ripe for 
the city to take entire charge of the work the individuals 
who have given the help may find -it difficult to withdraw 
all support, not only financial, but moral. 

"In Boston School Kitchen No. 1 there were employed 
two teachers, who alternated in their teaching, as did the 
classes, thus keeping the same children. 

"The school grew in popularity with pupils, parents, 

Public Schools 65 

masters, and assistants. Of four masters and twenty- 
seven assistants represented in School Kitchen No. 1, 
not one withheld his or her hearty cooperation, notwith- 
standing the fact that as no place has been made for 
instruction for cooking in the course of study prescribed, 
there was at first great interruption and doubtless annoy- 
ance occasioned. These masters and teachers regarded 
the work as coordinate with their own, and so sent their 
girls, stimulated by their own enthusiasm, to do their best 
to prove what the pioneers in this work claimed — that 
its underlying principle is true development of woman- 
hood, that its outgrowth is responsibility and industry, 
which cheers and gladdens every moment that it occu- 
pies, and keeps off the evil one by repelling him at 
the outposts instead of admitting him into a struggle 
in the citadel. 

" The school kitchen during the first year was visited 
by about seven hundred persons, many of whom were 
educators from various parts of the country. All were 
enthusiastic, all pronounced the work successful ; but they 
who bore the responsibility knew that its real success, its 
ultimate acceptance by the school board, would never be 
gained until it was placed upon that basis of economy 
that should recommend and make it possible, not only 
for Boston, but for every city in the United States. 

"Much earnest, anxious thought was given the sub- 
ject, and it was decided that it needed no more physical 
strength for a teacher of cooking than for a general 
teacher, therefore but one teacher instead of two should 
be employed and a simpler plan of work devised. In 
December, 1885, the chairman of the manual training 
school committee recommended in his report that the 

66 Ifome Economics 

expense and management of School Kitchen No. i be 
assumed by the school board ; but, owing to the reduc- 
tion by the city council of the school appropriation, pri- 
vate support was again offered in order that the amount 
appropriated for cooking schools might be devoted to the 
establishment and maintenance of the school in South 
Boston, where it was greatly desired. This continued 
support was the more gladly offered, as it afforded the 
management an opportunity to work out the more econom- 
ical plan. Therefore in October School Kitchen No. i 
was reopened with classes of the same number of girls 
from the same schools as the previous year. School 
Kitchen No. 2, maintained and managed by the city, 
was established a little later, and the Eliot School Asso- 
ciation established a school in a public schoolhouse in 
Jamaica Plain. Today, after thirteen years, there are 
nineteen central school kitchens in Boston, attended by 
every girl in the seventh and eighth grades. 

" As a result of this private experiment, at the end of 
two years there were four central school kitchens, giving 
to 1,400 girls a course of twenty lessons each in the 
school year of forty weeks, at the minimum cost of 
28 i cents for twenty lessons, or about if cents per head 
per lesson plus the teacher's salary. Every family was 
visited. Four mothers gave unfavorable opinions of the 
school. One hundred forty-six most favorable. Several 
made pertinent suggestions and gave just criticisms, which 
were gratefully received. The second winter 170 visits 
were made upon the mothers of the children in the schools. 
Of these two had no opinion to give, four were unfavor- 
able, and 164 heartily in favor and most desirous that it 
should be made compulsory. 

Public Schools 67 

"It is interesting to note that as an outgrowth of 
the work in Boston cooking has been introduced into the 
majority of the large cities in the country, and that Pratt 
and Drexel Institutes have established training schools 
for teachers, not larger nor more thorough than that of 
the Mary Hemenway Department of Household Arts in 
the Framingham Normal School. It is fitting and inter- 
esting, and ought to be encouraging to women who are 
about to enter upon life work, to know that every effort 
of Mrs. Hemenway for the public good has been recog- 
nized, notably the introduction of sewing, of cooking, 
and of gymnastics into the Boston schools. The schools 
established and maintained so many years by her in North 
Carolina and Virginia have been accepted by state or city, 
and are now controlled and carried on by them. 

"The circumstances of our lives will not make it 
possible for us to do what she has done, but the results 
of her life work may, and ought to be, an inspiration to 
every one of us." 

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